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Sally McKenzie's

Weekly Management e-Motivator


Issue #48

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e-motivator Article.

January 24, 2003

Sally McKenzie,CMC
McKenzie Management

1-877-777-6151 Ext. 11

Breaking Down the Barrier
The Hygiene Heist

Hygiene profitability is a multi-step process, but you can make significant inroads if you focus on one thing: Recall. If you do nothing else to improve your hygiene department at least shore up your Recall and Retention efforts. It is strategy Numero Uno in boosting your practice revenues and, most importantly, it automatically improves service to patients.

Recall/Retention – This practice misfit needs direction and guidance. It doesn’t take care of itself, and it also happens to be your primary feeding tube. You close this off and you’re starving your practice. This isn’t news. I’ve been saying for years that you have to manage recall – or else! In 95% of the practices we work with, hygiene alone is losing $35,000-$150,000 annually. This says nothing of the thousands of dollars in additional dentistry that also disappears. A successful recall system helps patients to secure the dental care they need in a timely fashion – one of the primary responsibilities of your practice.

Assign the job of patient coordinator to one person – NOT the hygienist. The coordinator is professionally trained to make calls. They are given uninterrupted time to carry out their responsibilities and this is their mission:

  • Make a specific number of patient phone calls each day in a specific amount of time.
  • Schedule a specific number of appointments.
  • Ensure that a specific number of patients complete treatment.
  • Schedule to ensure the hygienist achieves a specific daily or monthly financial goal.
  • Manage a specific number of unscheduled time units in the hygiene schedule per day.

A good patient coordinator should be able to manage a patient base of 500 to 1000 on an average of 15 hours per week at an hourly rate of about $12-$15. It doesn’t take much to figure out that reactivating a few inactive patients pays for the position quickly. Monitor patient retention. Each month, divide the number of patients due to be recalled for prophies that month by the number of prophies performed. The highest patient retention we've seen is 95%. See if you can beat that record for 2003!

Technology Tool Box

Mark Dilatush
VP of Professional Relations

for McKenzie Management


1-877-777-6151 Ext. 28

A series of short weekly chores designed to keep the return on investment in technology at its highest level.

If you missed any of the previous issues CLICK HERE.

Bandwidth and Internet Service Providers: What’s right for your children might not be “cutting edge” for your business.

Purpose: Utilize internal email, communicate with your patients via email through your practice management system, monitor your web site, utilize professional services (existing or soon to be available), interact with peers and suppliers on DentalTown, and who knows what else in the future?

What to do:

Consider switching your dial up AOL account to a new ISP (internet service provider) at the office. Your family may enjoy AOL at home but it has less value in the office.

If you get cable TV at the office, sign up for broadband (cable modem) internet access. Or, if you don’t have cable TV, call your local phone company and inquire about a DSL hookup. Those of you who practice in a residential area (home/practice) will enjoy better rates.

If you travel extensively for continuing education and with family, you might keep a limited AOL account handy. AOL is good for having lots of local access numbers. I personally use Earthlink for remote dial-up ISP access.

Either install yourself (it’s really inexpensive and simple), or have your network technician install what’s called a firewall. Think carefully about which computers in the office should have internet access. I would vote for your (dentist) personal office for sure. I would also include my business administrator’s computer. Once on-line eligibility and adjudication becomes the norm, I would certainly consider the remaining business computers.


Probably the first or next time another dentist asks you to download a set of digital x-rays or images (over your dialup) so you can collaborate on a case.

How do I make sure we don’t download or receive a virus?

The firewall and anti-virus software will watch over everything on the way in. Don’t let a fear of getting a virus stop you from enjoying and leveraging the benefits of information and services available on the internet. Seek professional advice from an installer/integrator if you do not know how to do it yourself.

How do I make sure my staff isn’t sitting there surfing the net all day?

Talk to your installer. It’s very simple to monitor each workstation’s internet activity. You can limit activity and deny activity as well.

How do I limit personal emails from coming to my staff?

Don’t! Give them a folder in Outlook to keep their personal emails in. Would you rather them use your telephone for personal communication? Imagine, they’ll think you’re a real gem when you cut back the time they spend on personal communication by 90%! Limit downloading and visiting off color web sites. There are literally dozens of internet content limiting packages available for free. Ask your technology integrator how.

So why should I consider this?

  1. I don’t know anyone who has a cable modem or DSL and has said, “nah, I like my dial up better”. (speed, efficiency, enjoyment are the obvious top three reasons)
  2. You can free up the telephone line you use for dialup service and roll it into another telephone line for patients to use. Your patients will appreciate it!
  3. You can begin to communicate with patients, labs, referring doctors, collaborative dentists, dental forums (http://www.DentalTown.com) on a larger scale. Imagine your team getting answers to some of their questions from DentalTown. That’s less they have to bug the dentist!
  4. Your team can feel more connected to home or spouse without the overhead of calling home or the spouse’s work all the time.
  5. In the very near future (if not already), you will be using collaborative meeting software (with small groups), web meeting software (with large groups), or collaborative video streaming software. Most (if not all) of these “meeting” type services use MicroSoft’s Internet Explorer as their default browser. Some have special settings and downloads if you want to use AOL to view them through. In short, MicroSoft is winning the business browser war and AOL is winning the home browser war. Don’t fight it. Just use each for their intended purpose and you’ll be happier and more productive.
    This time next year, you’ll be watching a new dental procedure being performed in Sweden that you believe could be the optimum treatment for a patient you saw that morning! Or perhaps you will finally attend a quarterly web conference call from a company with whom you have invested. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll find time to download some relaxing music to a set of MP3 players – one for each patient in the office. The possibilities are literally limitless.

New Year Practice Resolutions 2003

1. Increase Production by 42%?
2. Set job descriptions for staff with performance measurements?
3. Reduce the accounts receivable by 15%?
4. Get a full one hour for lunch?
5. Bring on an associate dentist in the first quarter?
6. Increase perio treatment in the hygiene department by 28%?
7. Equip another operatory first quarter?
8. Increase fees 3% the first of March and October?
9. Teach dental assistants how to make temporary crowns?
10. Have 2 hour monthly meetings with system measurements?

What will yours be?

Find out NOW how you can make your 2003 resolutions … REALITY!!!!

click here

Power Pack Hygiene Special!!!!!

How To Have A Successful Recall System- Book
Telephone Effectiveness to Improve Patient Retention-Audio

Special Rate for this week's newsletter subscribers
The Book and Audio Tapes - $75. SAVE $15

Order before 1/31/03 and receive as an added bonus…
Sally McKenzie's Most Popular Lecture on DVD

Breakdown: The Hidden Signals of Practice Erosion


"Recently I moved my chairside assistant to the front desk to be our financial coordinator after firing the previous one. I didn't know how to train her and she was quickly becoming overwhelmed. Knowing that this could no longer go on I decided to send her to The Center for Dental Career Development. Sally McKenzie and her team showed my financial coordinator how to not only do every aspect of her job but also coordinate her management duties with the Dentrix Dental System™. I now have security in knowing that my financial systems are functioning to the best of their ability and the process even uncovered $110,000 in lost revenues! Bottomline…I made money on my decision!"

Advanced Business Training
· Financial Coordinators
· Patient Coordinators
· Scheduling Coordinators
· Treatment Coordinators

The Center for Dental Career Development is compatible with the following computer management systems: Dentrix™, Softdent, EagleSoft, Practice Works, Easy Dental, Discus Dental.

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The Center for Dental Career Development
Advanced Business Education for Dental Professionals

737 Pearl St. Ste. 201
La Jolla, CA 92037

This issue is sponsored in part by:


McKenzie Management


The Center for Dental Career Development

Lares Research




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